Man guilty in Internet sex case
The 23-year-old faces a mandatory one-year sentence
A Circuit Court jury has found a 23-year-old Moiliili man guilty of using an Internet chat room to solicit sex with a teenage girl.
Ivan Y. Sakata faces a mandatory one-year jail term for electronic enticement of a child when he is sentenced April 14 by Judge Steven Alm. The maximum sentence for the felony offense is 10 years' imprisonment.
Sakata communicated online with a police detective who pretended to be a 13-year-old girl. He arranged to meet for sex but was met by police officers May 15 when he arrived at Kahala Mall to keep the date.
In another case last week, Judge Jennifer Ching sentenced a Kapolei man to 10 years' imprisonment for electronic enticement of a child. Earnest Luther Roberts, 46, was arrested in June when he showed up for an assignation arranged online with a person he thought was a minor girl.
Sakata and Roberts must register as sexual offenders. Both men were prosecuted under a sentencing law passed in 2006 that imposes stricter penalties on online sexual predators.
It provides a minimum sentence of five years' probation with one year in jail as a condition.
Sakata was the third defendant to be tried by a jury since the enhanced sentencing went into effect. Others have pleaded guilty or no contest.
They were investigated by the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the state Attorney General's Office and the Honolulu Police Department. The task force maintains a Web site with safety tips and other information for parents and children: www.hicac.com.
"Online predators target children, the most vulnerable users of the Internet, and the danger to children can be extremely serious," said Attorney General Mark Bennett in a statement. "We encourage parents and young people to be aware of potential abuses."